tisdag 12 januari 2010

Elf 'n Safety on the ice

Shoe studs
There has been an epidemic of broken limbs due to falls on the ice. Councils have been blamed for not clearing the streets. But most of the accidents would not have happened if people had been wearing the right footwear. In the south of England, at least, people are not used to snow and ice and so are liable to being caught out.

These spikes slip on to any shoes, like galoshes. They give a good grip on ice, but are not to be trusted entirely and it is a good idea to use a spiked stick or pole, or pair of poles as well, as used by Scandinavian hikers.

Another suggestion is to wear wool socks over one's boots. I didn't try that but another thing that worked quite well was soft fabric boots. With these, one can feel the ground under one's feet and get extra grip with one's toes. But they only work if the temperature is less than about minus 5 and no salt has been put down to melt the ice.

In our Nanny State, one might have thought that the authorities would have been sufficiently on the ball to give out advice on the subject. But nobody has, not in the newspapers, not on radio or television. It would have saved much pain and injury, including some from which the victims never make a full recovery, to say nothing of what it has cost the NHS.  Strange.

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